Meijer Inc. plans to begin administering COVID-19 vaccination shots Monday inside a limited number of retail stores in Wayne County.
The State of Michigan has tapped the Walker-based supermarket giant to use its 120 in-store pharmacies for giving customers a two-shot vaccine to protect against the deadly coronavirus.
While specific stores have not yet been determined, the company said Wednesday that individuals over age 65 will be able to get vaccinated in a limited number of Wayne County stores starting Monday.
From there, the program will be expanded to Meijer’s 256 supermarkets in Michigan and the rest of the Midwest, Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said Wednesday.
“Our stores and pharmacies have played a very important role in supporting their communities during this difficult time,” Keyes said in a statement. “We are proud to be chosen by the State of Michigan as a partner to help administer these critical vaccines and we look forward to our expanded role in helping communities throughout the Midwest defeat this pandemic.”
Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration asked the CDC to allow Meijer, Kroger and other pharmacies to administer vaccinations inside nursing homes to help speed up a program CVS and Walgreens are operating on a national level for long-term care facilities.
As of Monday, CVS and Walgreens had administered 39,861 first-dose vaccine shots to nursing home residents and workers among 245,100 doses of Moderna vaccined allocated to the program, according to state data.
“We have requested that (the CDC) move more quickly through this population by threading in more ready, willing and able pharmacy in Michigan into the program — like Meijer, Kroger, Walmart, Costco and so many others,” said Tricia Foster, the state’s chief operating officer, at a Capitol news conference Wednesday with Whitmer.
The state’s partnership with Meijer announced Wednesday is under a federal program for retail distribution and administration of the vaccine, separate from the program for long-term care facilities, the governor’s office said.
Meijer has launched a text message-based service for registering and scheduling appointments for vaccine shots. To register, text COVID to the number 75049 or register on Meijer’s website.